Maine Farm to School Network awarded USDA Farm to School Training Grant!
Announcing FREE Local Foods Procurement Training
The Maine Farm to School Network at Healthy Communities of the Capital Area received a $25,000 USDA Farm to School Training Grant to build K-12 local food procurement capacity in Maine. Designed to increase the availability of local foods in schools, USDA Farm to School grants can help farm to school programs get started or expand existing efforts. The funds will support local foods procurement training for food service directors across the state as well as network building. Learn more about the grant program and read about the other awardees here.
The Maine Farm to School Network, in collaboration with other state farm to school advocates, will offer local procurement and network building trainings at the 2019 Maine Farm to School Conference at Kennebec Valley Community College Alfond Campus on October 3-4, 2019, and at the annual Tri-State (ME, NH, VT) school nutrition conference in 2020. School nutrition directors, food producers, and other farm to school stakeholders will learn local procurement rules and strategies to increase the amount of local foods served in school meals. Participants will also gain a deeper understanding of network building to further strengthen farm to school partnerships across the state.
Sign On Here to Support Federal Farm to School Legislation!
The USDA Farm to School Grant Program has provided $30 million in awards over the last five years, enabling 33,600+ schools across the U.S. to purchase local foods and connect kids to the source of their food. That’s real progress - and communities are asking for more federal support: the $5 million in annual mandatory funding provided by Congress in 2010 for this program is not meeting the demand for funding – USDA has received over 1,900 applications requesting over $141 million since 2013 but was able to make only 437 awards, totalling $30 million. It’s time to fill this gap.
You can help make this happen!
This year, we have a window for growing Congressional support for farm to school work and broadening its scope, so it can better serve diverse, high-need student populations and include priorities for beginning, veteran, and socially disadvantaged farmers.
The Farm to School Act of 2019 (S. 2026, H.R. 3562) and Kids Eat Local Act (S.1817, H.R. 3230) were both recently introduced. Together, these bills offer Congress a blueprint for supporting farm to school work in the next CNR, and they need your support!
Take action now to support bringing healthy, local food into schools! Sign this petition to endorse the Farm to School Act of 2019 and the Kids Eat Local Act.